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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

The Tournament ended on a high note for Ireland. They beat Zimbabwe "A" to finish third in the Tournament. Kenya, nine points and Holland seven points, were the only teams above Ireland's five points from five games. All three had one abandoned match. Zimbabwe "A" had a strong team. B Strang, Gripper, Rennie and Matambanadzo had all played Test cricket and the first two were going to England on the full tour. 10 players who played in this match, including the 12th man, were about to set out on an "A" tour to Sri Lanka.

Ireland, sent in, got their highest total of the Tournament. After a good start in reply Zimbabwe collapsed from 95 for two to 144 for eight. They then rallied but the target proved too much when Strang was out in the second last over.

Ireland left out Archer, Bushe and Butler. On a warm sunny morning Cooke was tried as an opening partner for Molins. He faced 37 balls, made only eight and was third out at 35. The Test match bowlers Strang and Matambanadzo bowled the first 11 overs by which time Ireland were 35 but had lost Molins. Matambanadzo bowled him on a full toss when Molins was static at the crease. Davy had come in and hit Matambanadzo for a six over mid-wicket in the 10th over. Price and Mutendera, slow left arm, came on and both took a wicket at 35. Price's first ball was nibbled to slip by Davy who failed to move his feet. In the next over Cooke swung and missed. 35 for three in 12.2 overs was not a good start. However Joyce and Dunlop put matters right. Dunlop attacked Mutendera and hit him for four, four, six (hooked), four in the 11th over to move the score from 41 to 65. It was 95 in 25 overs and 100 was raised in the next. Rennie had come on and Joyce hit him for six over long on.

In the same over, Rennie's sixth, Dunlop was out after an 83 run stand off 99 balls. Dunlop launched another straight drive but failed to carry long on. 118-4-42. Gillespie was next and a fairly sedate 45 run partnership ensued with only one four. 150 was up in over 38. In the 40th over Joyce was out for a very well made 57 off 76 balls. Matambanadzo had returned and Joyce miscued him to mid-wicket. 163-5-57. Mutendera returned and had Gillespie caught at the wicket in his second over. 178-6-22. McCallan and Heasley now came together after 43.2 overs. They put on a crucial 43 in five overs, Heasley's share being 31. He hit fast left armer Strang for a straight six in the 47th over to bring up 200. Mutendera was attacked in the next over with four to long-off, six to wide long-off and another six to mid-wicket. Strang bowled Heasley in the 49th over as he tried to swing to leg. 221-8-31 (off 18 balls). The final 10 balls yielded 10 more runs, 68 coming in the last 10 overs.

Zimbabwe used six bowlers but none gave up less than four runs per over. Matambanadzo was best with two for 35. Ireland took an early wicket when Heasley, at third man, caught Marillier off Cooke. 8-1-3. Gripper joined Maragwede in a 53 run stand. It got off to a good start. Davy's third over, and last, gave up 12 including two wides and no-ball which was hit for four. Heasley and McCallan were the next pair of bowlers. The former bowled seven overs for 34 without taking a wicket. Both batsmen scored freely and 50 was up in over 10. McCallan took the second wicket in over 14. Gripper failed to carry Joyce at long-on. 61-2-25.

Rennie, the Captain, came in. Dwyer came on to bowl the 21st over at 90. The pitch now began to take spin and McCallan and Dwyer were in their element. The next wicket did not come from a bowler. Maragwede was run out. Rennie played McCallan to the leg side. Maragwede backed up too far (there was no run). Rutherford scuttled around and threw to McCallan. 95-3-38. This dismissal began a slide to the spinners. Dwyer took three and McCallan one as the score went from 95 for three to 131 for seven.

In the next over after the run out the left handed Rennie gave an easy catch to Dunlop at short mid-wicket. 98-4-19. McCallan had the next batsman, Peacock, caught at the wicket in the next over. 99-5-1. Lamb and the left handed Campbell brought up 100 in over 24. They put on 16 in three overs. Then Dwyer struck again with the first ball of his fourth over. Lamb skied to wide mid-on. 115-6-9. Strang joined Campbell and 16 runs were put on quietly in six overs. McCallan was bowled out, two for 32 in 10 overs. Heasley returned to finish his 10 overs. In between, in his seventh over, Dwyer took his third wicket. Cooke caught Campbell at wide deep mid-wicket. 131-7-19. Cooke came back in place of Heasley for the 38th over and bowled Mutendera with his fourth ball. 144-8-6.

Zimbabwe now needed 88 in 12 overs. They made a great effort to get them with only two wickets left. The 39th over was Dwyer's last. He had three for 31 in his 10 very fine overs with no wides. Strang and Price now began to strike out against Cooke and J. Davy. Six an over became the norm. 150 was up in over 40. After 44 overs the score was 174, 58 being required in six overs. Then Gillespie bowled two overs for 26, Strang hitting him for two sixes and a four. In between Davy conceded nine in one over. So 35 had come in three overs and now sixteen were needed from two overs. Strang reached a wonderful 50 off 60 balls in Davy's over - the 47th. Cooke had one over left and he bowled the 49th and bowled it very well. Strang swung wildly at the second ball of full length and was comprehensively bowled. 217-9-61. Strang hit two sixes and six fours and certainly gave the Irish a fright.

With 15 needed off 10 balls one felt Ireland were home. So it proved but there was one more twist to the story. 14 were needed from the last over, bowled by Davy. Matambanadzo skied the first ball to a great height. Rutherford, always underneath it, dropped the catch! Two balls later Price was caught at the wicket - by Rutherford!

Ireland won by 12 runs after a splendid finale to the Tournament. Cooke had come good in this match and had taken his only three wickets of the Tournament (three for 37 in 10 overs). McCallan (two for 32) and Dwyer (three for 31) were others who had bowled 10 in what was Ireland's best bowling performance in the four matches played.

Dwyer's seven wickets @ 20.85 each with an economy rate of 3.94 and a strike rate of 31.71 was head and shoulders above the other bowlers, none of whom took more than three wickets. The cheapest of those was Heasley @ 36.66 runs per wicket, an economy rate of 4.78 and a strike rate of 46. The batting stars were PJ Davy, 155 runs, average 51.66 and two fifties; Joyce 140 runs, average 35.00 and also two fifties. Gillespie got the highest score, 74, and averaged 55 for his 110 runs. Molins had one fifty in his 108 runs, average 27 but his unfitness showed up badly in his running between wickets.